524 F.3d 275 (1st Cir. 2008), 07-2272, Hannon v. Beard

Docket Nº:07-2272
Citation:524 F.3d 275
Party Name:Francis HANNON, Plaintiff, Appellant, Raymond Cook; Sean Milliken; Wayne D. Crosby; Lawrence M. McArthur; Kevin King; Henry Laplante; William White; Christopher Demarco; Angel Pimental; Joseph Lodico; Steven Balsavich; and Edward Keith, Plaintiffs, v. Jeffrey BEARD and Maryjane Hesse, Defendants, Appellees, Michael T. Maloney; Peter Allen; Kristie
Case Date:April 28, 2008
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Page 275

524 F.3d 275 (1st Cir. 2008)

Francis HANNON, Plaintiff, Appellant,

Raymond Cook; Sean Milliken; Wayne D. Crosby; Lawrence M. McArthur; Kevin King; Henry Laplante; William White; Christopher Demarco; Angel Pimental; Joseph Lodico; Steven Balsavich; and Edward Keith, Plaintiffs,


Jeffrey BEARD and Maryjane Hesse, Defendants, Appellees,

Michael T. Maloney; Peter Allen; Kristie Ladouceur; Kenneth Deorsey; Paul Duford; Jeffrey Grimes; Richard Medeiros; Gilbert Lemon, II; John Does 1-50; Clark Color Lab; Vincent Mooney; Massachusetts Department of Corrections; Frederick Callendar; Richard McArthur; James Sullivan; Gary Fyfe; Robert Kolber; and Herbert Berger-Hershkowitz, Defendants.

No. 07-2272

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit.

April 28, 2008

Heard Feb. 7, 2008.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District Of Massachusetts Hon. Rya W. Zobel, U.S. District Judge.

Page 276

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 277

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 278

Matthew J. Matule, with whom David S. Clancy and Christopher G. Clark, was on brief for appellant Hannon.

Claudia M. Tesoro, Senior Deputy Attorney General, with whom Thomas W. Corbett, Jr., Attorney General, Calvin R. Koons, Senior Deputy Attorney General, and John G. Knorr, III, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Chief, Appellate Litigation Section, was on brief for appellees Beard and Hesse.

Before TORRUELLA, Circuit Judge, WALLACE, [*] Senior Circuit Judge, and LIPEZ, Circuit Judge.

WALLACE, Senior Circuit Judge.

Francis Hannon appeals from the district court's final order dismissing his claims against Jeffrey Beard and Maryjane Hesse for lack of personal jurisdiction. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We affirm in part and reverse and remand in part.


Hannon's claims against Beard and Hesse are part of a multi-party, multi-claim lawsuit filed in the district court for the District of Massachusetts. Hannon and his fellow plaintiffs, all prisoners in Massachusetts, alleged various federal and state constitutional violations against numerous defendants, most of whom were officials in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections (DOC). However, Hannon, who was convicted in Pennsylvania and has spent most of his prison time there, also included a claim against Beard and Hesse, who were officials in the Pennsylvania DOC during the time periods relevant to this action.

Since his 1978 conviction and incarceration in Pennsylvania, Hannon has been the quintessential "jailhouse lawyer," pursuing post-conviction relief and filing numerous grievances and lawsuits on behalf of himself and other prisoners challenging their conditions of confinement. Hannon estimates that he has represented "thousands" of his fellow inmates in proceedings. He alleges that the Pennsylvania DOC grew tired of his lawsuits and agitation and, in order to prevent him from filing more lawsuits and in retaliation for the actions he had already taken, began a strategy of transferring him to out-of-state prisons.

Transfers of state prisoners to prisons in other states are effected pursuant to the Interstate Corrections Compact (Compact), which generally permits states to contract for one state's incarceration of another state's convicts in consideration for payment. Pursuant to the Compact, Hannon was transferred in 1997 to a District of Columbia prison and, in the first several months of 2001, was transferred to another District of Columbia prison, two different Maryland prisons, and eventually back to Pennsylvania. In December of 2001, he was transferred from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts. Hannon alleges that his legal materials "disappeared" during the transfer to Massachusetts.

Hannon asserts that the decision to transfer him to Massachusetts was authorized and directed by Beard, the Secretary of the Pennsylvania DOC, in retaliation for Hannon's lawsuits against DOC officers. Hannon states that this fact was confirmed by prison personnel with whom he spoke. Though Beard asserted that he has not been involved with Hannon subsequent to the transfer, he did not deny involvement leading up to the transfer.

Once in Massachusetts, Hannon sent a number of letters to Hesse, a Pennsylvania

Page 279

DOC prison librarian, requesting legal materials. She responded several times, sometimes denying his requests and sometimes sending requested material either to him or to a prison librarian in Massachusetts. At times, she sought legal counsel's advice to determine whether she was required to send the requested materials. She states that every time she denied a request for material, it was because legal counsel had advised her that she was not required to supply Hannon with it.

In 2003, Hannon filed a complaint against Beard and Hesse, as well as against numerous Massachusetts prison officials, in the Massachusetts district court. His claims against Beard and Hesse allege that they violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights and his rights under Articles XI and XII of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights by transferring him between prisons, confiscating his legal materials, and refusing to provide him with requested legal materials.

In January 2007, after he filed this action, Hannon learned that he was to be transferred yet again. His emergency motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining the transfer was denied, and this was affirmed by us on appeal. He was transferred to New Jersey.

Beard and Hesse filed a motion to dismiss, arguing, among other things, that the Massachusetts district court lacked personal jurisdiction over them. On June 26, 2007, the district court granted the motion and dismissed Hannon's claims against Hesse and Beard for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court reasoned that the long-arm statute did not reach Hesse or Beard because they did not "transact business" within Massachusetts: "The decision to transfer plaintiff and confiscate legal materials all occurred in Pennsylvania where the Pennsylvania defendants reside." The district court concluded that a transfer pursuant to the Compact does not alone constitute the transaction of business in Massachusetts. Because the district court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, it did not reach any of the other grounds for dismissal argued in Beard and Hesse's motion to dismiss. Several of Hannon's claims against other defendants, as well as other plaintiffs' claims, survived motions to dismiss. Final judgment on the dismissal of the claims against Beard and Hesse was entered pursuant to Hannon's Rule 54(b) motion, and Hannon timely appealed.


It is axiomatic that, "[t]o hear a case, a court must have personal jurisdiction over the parties, 'that is, the power to require the parties to obey its decrees.' " Daynard v. Ness, Motley, Loadholt, Richardson, & Poole, P.A., 290 F.3d 42, 50 (1st Cir. 2002) (quoting United States v. Swiss Am. Bank, Ltd., 191 F.3d 30, 35 (1st Cir. 1999)). "The plaintiff bears the burden of proving the court's...

To continue reading